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General Laws

Section 102C. The superior court may of its own motion or on the motion of a plaintiff or defendant, after determination by said court that if the plaintiff prevails, there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery will exceed twenty-five thousand dollars, transfer for trial any civil action pending in said court to the court from which such action was previously removed, if any, or if such action was originally entered in the superior court, to any district court, including the municipal court of the city of Boston, in which it could have been brought under the provisions of section two of chapter two hundred and twenty-three.

Clerks of the superior court shall, when a case is so transferred, transmit the order of reference and the original papers in the action, or certified copies thereof, together with a copy of the docket entries, without charge to the clerk of the court to which such action was so transferred.

Such action shall, unless retransferred as hereinafter provided, be pending in the court to which it was transferred and shall be tried by a justice sitting in said court. The parties shall have the benefits of and be subject to the district-municipal courts rules of civil procedure. Such action while pending in said court may be consolidated for trial with cross actions as provided in section two A of chapter two hundred and twenty-three. The justice shall file a written decision or finding with the clerk who shall forthwith notify the parties or counsel of record. Any party to the transferred action aggrieved by the finding or decision may as of right have the case retransferred for determination by the superior court and any party to an action consolidated for trial with the transferred action aggrieved by the finding or decision may as of right have his case transferred for determination by the superior court. The request for retransfer or transfer, as the case may be, shall be filed with the clerk of said district court within ten days after notice of the finding or decision. If either party neglects to appear at the time appointed for such trial, or at any adjournment thereof, without just cause, or if at any such time either party refuses to produce in good faith the testimony relied on by him, the justice may close the trial and order that judgment be entered for the adverse party and file a finding or decision to that effect, and if both so fail to appear he may order that the action be dismissed.

Upon the filing with the clerk of a request for retransfer, the decision or finding shall be forthwith transmitted, with any original papers received from the superior court and any original papers filed in the district court after transfer of the case by the superior court, to the clerk of the superior court of the county from which the case was referred. If a request for transfer is filed in an action consolidated for trial with the action transferred from the superior court, the finding or decision shall be forthwith submitted, with all original papers filed in the district court, to the clerk of the superior court of the county from which the transferred case was referred. The clerk of the superior court shall forthwith notify the parties or counsel of record of the receipt and filing of said finding or decision.

The action shall thereafter be tried in the superior court. The decision, and the amount of the damages assessed, if any, by a district court shall be prima facie evidence upon such matters as are put in issue by the pleadings, and no other findings of such court shall at any time be admissible as evidence or become part of the pleadings. A party shall be held to waive any right to jury trial previously claimed, unless within ten days after the filing of the finding or decision in the superior court he shall file a statement that he insists on a jury trial.

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